Medina Board of Education wants to welcome Barker kids as Mustang football players

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 January 2018 at 9:46 am

Photo by Cheryl Wertman: Helmets for the Mustang football team are lined up in the end zone on Sept. 15, when Vets Park hosted its first game after renovations.

MEDINA – The Board of Education said on Tuesday it would welcome football players from Barker to play on Medina’s team.

Medina already has players from Lyndonville. They practice and play their home games in Medina, and wear the Mustang uniforms. That’s how David Sevenski, the board president, wants it to continue with Barker.

“Just so Barker knows they would be Mustangs,” Sevenski said during Tuesday’s board meeting.

The two schools need to iron out an intermunicipal agreement. Barker has proposed paying $400 for each of its players to be on the Medina team. That would help with the cost of uniforms and coaches, said Mark Kruzynski, Medina district superintendent.

The Lyndonville players have fit in well with the Medina program, and have been contributors to the team, Board of Education members said. The Medina helmets include Tiger paw prints on the back to recognize the Lyndonville players.

Sevenski, the Medina board president, didn’t want to alter the Medina uniforms to accommodate the Barker players, citing the cost. Barker could have 8 to 10 players on the Medina team, Kruzynski said.

Medina and Lyndonville also have a shared soccer team. They typically wear Medina uniforms and play in Medina. However, they do wear Lyndonville uniforms for at least one game a year in Lyndonville.

Roy-Hart ended its agreement with Barker after the recent football season. That change will drop Roy-Hart into a lower classification as a C school. Roy-Hart believes it can better compete in the C division, rather than against B-size schools, Medina officials said on Tuesday.

Medina currently is a B school with the Lyndonville students. Medina would continue in the same classification with Barker, Kruzynski said.

Wendi Pencille, a Medina BOE member, said she would like to see Medina make a commitment to Barker for more than a year so the Barker players don’t have to worry about not having a team.

“I’d like to make sure we never pull the rug out on these kids like Roy-Hart did,” Pencille said during the board meeting. “That was grossly unfair.”

Kruzynski said Medina and Barker will work on the details for Barker to play on the Medina team.

Renee Paser-Paull, a Medina board member, said she is concerned about football and other high-impact sports where players can suffer cognitive issues due to concussions and “micro head hits.” She urged the board and school district to be mindful of the emerging research on head injuries in sports.

“The high-impact sports can have an impact on the futures of our kids,” she said.

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